It’s Christmas time

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Just don’t ask. Don’t.

Here at Dodgy Perth, we are often asked about Christmas shopping at the turn of the twentieth century. Often, we tell you. So, for the first time 114 years, we present our glorious CBD in December 1901.

Mummified frogs. Mummified. Frogs. One grocer, H. H. Porter, had a window display of the Western Australian parliament recreated in mummified frogs. Which makes us feel all seasonal deep down inside thinking about it right now.

Want to feel the spirit of Xmas even more? Children who stopped too long to peer into the windows of the city’s shops were firmly moved on by the police. No cluttering up the pavements when there are real people with money to spend, thank you very much.

As the twentieth century started, Perth was feeling the full effects of the gold boom. Which meant there was real cash flowing around the city. Which meant shops could jack up their prices and justify it with nice window displays. Doesn’t sound at all like the city we know does it?

There being no holly or ivy locally, decorative greenery was supplied by the “health giving and invigorating” eucalyptus. Every lamp post and verandah post was covered with the stuff giving Perth the scent of the bush. Public buildings were draped with flags of every nation and shops had started to employ professional window dressers.

Take Sandover & Co, whose Hay Street window had a harvesting scene, in which a rosy-cheeked country lassie was reposing amongst sheaves of locally grown wheat. In the background a windmill—driven by an electric fan—turned itself around. How very Christmas. Although Sandover was the place to go for the novelty present everyone wanted that year: table tennis.

Of course, if you had a little more money, you could go to E. J. Bickford & Co, whose premises extended from Hay Street to Murray street. Normally a furniture dealer, in 1901 all sorts of Christmas novelties could be found there, including a display of Armenian glassware. But not needing Armenian glassware, we’ll just pick up one of their luxury ping pong tables.

J. Weidenbach & Co. had a splendid Christmas show that year. The windows were full of beautiful Chinese lanterns and umbrellas, Japanese art drapings and Chinese silk drapings. Beautiful, until you realise that 1901 was the year they passed the Immigration Restriction Act specifically to stop Chinese and Japanese people coming to Australia. Hypocritical bastards our ancestors.

Hughes & Doheny had snowstorms in their window, but much better they had Kinross whisky and Santa Ross wines inside.

And we in the Dodgy Perth office would have loved to have looked in the window of Carter & Co., to check out their “unique” display of ladies’ lingerie. Not for ourselves, you understand. Well, unless it fits nicely.

Inglewood presents…

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Civic Theatre looking all theatrical

As the Dodgy Perth team were due some well-earned R&R yesterday, we all headed to the exclusive Civic Hotel in Inglewood to sample their wine list. First of all, naturally, we ensured we were compliant with the dress code: singlet (check), sleeve tattoo (check), making Tarquin call himself Davo all night for his own safety (check).

Out in the courtyard, listening to the acoustic guitarist covering Aussie classics for the sole benefit of his two bored mates, we wondered if Inglewood had once had more thrilling entertainment. Rummaging through some fading Xpress Magazines in the corner of the room, we discovered the Clock Tower had once been the Civic Theatre.

When it opened in 1936, the press went a little overboard, describing it as “one of the most modern and beautiful of suburban theatres” and praising its interior as having “walls of texture finish in bronze and gold”.

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Mr Kay at the Civic Theatre Restaurant, 1969

But we were not interested in 1936. No sir. We wished for a modern-day Doctor Who to transport us to the greatest year in history (1969), when the building was known as the Civic Theatre Restaurant and people of that year (lucky, lucky people) would have been entertained by Max Kay himself, and a variety of scantily-clad dancers.

We are setting up an on-line petition to demand the Civic Hotel give us less Chase the Ace and more dancers and Max Kay. You’ll sign, won’t you?

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I think I can see her knickers. Civic, 1969

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Aren’t you cold in that? Civic, 1969

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She’s got legs… Civic, 1969

The Inglewood Nazis

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Looking so, so sexy in their fascist outfits

Some people have mixed emotions about Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front who are protesting the ‘Islamification’ of WA. But Dodgy Perth salutes them. It takes a special kind of bravery to stand up in public and let everyone see what kind of knob end you really are.

So to celebrate the rise of Neo Nazis in Perth, we present a time when there was no ‘Neo’: the 1930s. Welcome to the Nazi Party of Western Australia. Yep. Actual, honest-to-god Nazis.

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Busselton was not as nice to Uncle Adolph as Inglewood

Being a stylish bunch of fascists they did not want the brown or black shirts associated with tasteless European evil, so they went for an attractive shade of blue. When matched with a peaked cap it made them both quite fascistic and, to be perfectly honest, a little like a 1970s gay clone.

The local branch of Nazis was headed by W. G. Tracey, a man so awful The Racial Purity Guild of Australia was embarrassed to be connected with him.

And Tracey must have been humiliated when his main opponents, the Communist Party, decided they couldn’t be bothered protesting his miniature Nuremberg Rally at Riley’s Hall in Inglewood, on Beaufort Street.

“After careful investigation of the so-called National Socialist Party,” said a Commie spokesman, “we have come to the conclusion that the organisation and its leader can be ignored.”

Ouch.

If you want to make a pilgrimage to the site of WA’s first Nazi rally, the building is now an excellent Himalayan-Nepalese restaurant, which Dodgy Perth can recommend from personal experience.

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“A conspiratorial journey to mock Finland”

Jonathan Clements is a very annoying historian.

He is prolific, cool, and has an incredible range of interests, each of which he writes about brilliantly but with deceptive ease.

And he even manages to look smokingly handsome in his publicity shot.

His book on the Vikings is probably the best introduction to that subject we have ever read here at Dodgy Perth HQ.

For all of the above reasons, and probably more, we hate him.

The Official Schoolgirl Milky Crisis Blog

41CH3PO2YYL._SY445_Edward Dutton’s much-appreciated review of my Armchair Traveller’s History of Finland appears in the Scandinavian Journal of History 40:1, and decrees it to be “lively and humorous… a good introduction to Finland…[that] successfully negotiates the various problems that bedevil producing a history book aimed at undergraduates.” He pays it an immense compliment by assuming it should be let anywhere near an academic syllabus in the first place, but perhaps is already looking forward to arguing with his students about the terrible things I say about Russian tourists and fundamentalist Lutherans.

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